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24.10.2017, 11:37
Big names enter road to Men’s World Championship 2019
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PREVIEW: The Qualification Europe to the Men’s World Championship 2019 in Denmark and Germany throws off this week – and big European teams such as Russia are already forced to deliver
 

Big names enter road to Men’s World Championship 2019

For 11 European teams the qualification to the Men’s World Championship 2019 starts this week.

And while this first qualification phase usually sees Europe’s middle and lower-ranked nations vying for a spot in the play-offs next year, this time around there are a few big names in the mix and forced to deliver from an early.

Russia and Poland both missed the qualification to the EHF EURO 2018 and have therefore been seeded in this phase.

Russia were drawn to Group 1 and face Slovakia at home on 26 October and then Finland away on 28 October.

These matches are also the first competitive test for new head coach Eduard Koksharov who took over the team from Dmitry Torgovanov in July.

Poland have been drawn to Group 4 alongside Portugal, Cyprus and Kosovo. This group will be played in a tournament format in January 2018.

Also in action this week already is Group 5, with Turkey vs Belgium and Netherlands vs Greece on 25 October being the first encounters.

In Group 6, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Estonia play a double-header on 25 and 28 October. The group’s third team, Switzerland, joins the race in January.

Groups 2 (Lithuania, Latvia, Israel, Georgia) and 3 (Romania, Ukraine, Italy, Faroe Islands) are played in tournament format in January.

Play-offs determine nine participants

Only the first-ranked team of each group will qualify for play-offs which will be played in June next year.

Europe will be represented by 13 teams at the 24-nation Men's World Championship 2019 which will be played from 10 to 27 January 2019 in Germany and Denmark.

France as defending champions as well as Germany and Denmark as hosts are already qualified. They will be joined by the champion of the Men's EHF EURO 2018 or the respective best ranked team in case France, Germany or Denmark win gold.

Hence 12 of the following 13 teams are qualified for the play-offs: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Iceland, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Slovenia, Serbia and Sweden.

The play-offs from 8 to 10 and from 12 to 14 June 2018 will determine the final nine European participants for the Men's World Championship 2019.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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